diberry - 4:12 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)
hannamyluv has done a great job summarizing how many people are affected by this shutdown.
Don't forget that in two weeks, the debt ceiling has to be raised, or else the Treasury is no longer officially authorized to pay the bills Congress has racked up. This could have several outcomes, and none of them are pretty. (Unless the Feds actually negotiate a sensible debt limit increase, which IMO isn't even a possibility anymore.)
Also keep in mind, no matter what job market and unemployment numbers the press gives us, people usually base their spending habits on how secure they FEEL about their ability to earn money. Confidence there is still pretty low, and the longer it stays low, the harder it will be to shake it because those feelings are kind of like slow-motion trauma. If you've ever been unemployed or underemployed for a couple of years, you know how it erodes your sense of having any value in the marketplace. Then when you finally get a good job, you don't immediately trust it's going to last.